Book Review: The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney

34851852Title & Author: The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney 

Genre: YA- Urban Fantasy, Magical Realism

Release Date: May 1st 2017

Series: Yes?

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Source: ARC via Publisher

Description:  All Lo Campbell wants is to be a normal teenager—to go to one high school, live in one place, and have one real friend. Instead, she travels the country with her mother, chasing the unknown, the what else that’s out there…

Until one day, the what else chases back.

Determined to rescue her mom from whatever supernatural being took her, Lo will need more help than a badly dressed demon obsessed with country music. She’s going to need a Tracker—and lucky for her, she finds one. Shaw is strong, good-looking, possibly available, and utterly infuriating. Sure, he may have secrets, and his help costs more than a brand-new car, but she’ll have to deal with him if she wants to find her mother—and get her home alive


I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m torn, very torn. I really liked this book for a whole slew of reasons. Amazing reason. Fantastical reasons. But the romance. It was so instant. And Lo’s (Lo, short for Delores) back and forth behavior was enough to give me a headache.

First of all this book ends unresolved. So I’m really hoping this is going to be a series because I am way to invested for this to be a incomplete story. The story starts off with a bang as Lo sets out to bargain with a lesser demon. Her mother is missing and taken by an ancient demon (think super scary strong compared to a lesser demon) and she needs all the help she can get. I’m not going to lay it all out the hows and whys her mother got caught up in demons as the events and tidbits of information given as the story goes on is half the fun.

Enter Shaw, he is moody, handsome and just deadly enough to scare and entice Lo. He’s a tracker but we really don’t get any info on what exactly a tracker is and why they are so special. Honestly, throughout the book I just figured he was a highly trained person with magical sight but Shaw mentions that its in their blood in order to be a tracker so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We meet some cool none human characters like Madame Q and a Seer, and some not so cool peeps like a creepy necromancer who wants in Lo’s pants.

The whole story has this underlining current of tension and anxiety as Lo doesn’t know where he mother is or what sort of condition she’s in. What was the most jarring was the way Lo completely forgot about her mother in short bursts because of Shaw’s hunky-ness. She would be super emotional and then Shaw would take off his shirt and she would just practically melt into a puddle. Or Shaw would flirt with Madam Q and Lo would get outrageously jealous and go off doing something incredibly stupid all while knowing that she shouldn’t care and that she needed to focus on her mother.  I mean, pull yourself together Delores! I really feel like this would be a much stronger book without the instant love. They were together maybe a day or two before she starts swooning over him.

There is a huge plot twist right at the end which I was both happy and angry about. This finally removed the rose colored glasses from Delores’ eyes but at the same time completely crushed her. No spoilers but it’s a doozy of a twist.

Overall: I enjoyed this. I read it in nearly one day and was captivated by the magical realism and the way Katie McElhenney  incorporated supernatural creatures lesser seen like the Jersey Devil and sprites. I hate to say it but Rashkur was my favorite character. The way he used a different endearment in each sentence when he spoke to Lo and his gaudy outfits were just so funny. Shaw was hit or miss. He was your typical bad boy with hot and cold moments and by the end I had a general idea of why he did what he did to Lo and what he has to gain from it. (Cryptic, I know.)

Goodreads | Amazon | Authors Website


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